It’s been almost two months since we shared our news that we’re having a baby. In the last few weeks, more and more people have been reaching out to ask how things are going with Sarah and Megatron, so we’re back with an update on the pregnancy to answer those questions, share new maternity photos, and our plans to welcome Baby Bricker into the world.
First, we want to start out by reiterating our previous thank you. We are incredibly appreciative for the outpouring of love and support that you all have expressed in response to our exciting news. So many of you shared sincere messages of congratulations, and your own deeply personal stories and struggles.
We are truly humbled by the joy and happiness you’ve shared for and with us, and thankful for all of you wonderful readers. You all exceeded our expectations–and we do not have low expectations for you–reminding us yet again how fortunate we are to have such a great community here. Your kind words meant more to us than you’ll ever realize.
We’ll start with an update on mom, and to answer a lot of reader questions, Sarah is doing well! We’ve had several doctor’s appointments since the last post, and all has been good at each of them. Mom-to-be is healthy and there are no issues with baby. Megatron continues to be very active, moving so much that the sonogram technician continues to be “impressed” (probably not really) and/or challenged with each visit. We’d expect no less from a baby with the namesake of Megatron!
Speaking of which, Sarah also continues to be active. Our last update mentioned that she’d be sitting out Early Entry and other park strategy sessions in the future, which turned out to be untrue. We actually did A/B testing on Early Entry at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure just a couple weeks ago and it went flawlessly! Early Entry remains a fantastic way to do both parks because of the extremely limited eligible guest pool. (I’m sure most of you actually clicked on this post expecting an indirect update on Early Entry at Disneyland.)
Sarah does get tired after walking around the parks for extended periods of time. Her ankles sometimes get slightly swollen after standing hours on end, at which point we head to the Star View Station Lounge or the back porch at Flo’s and sit for a bit. (The timing of that lounge’s opening couldn’t have been any more perfect for us!) We have had a few marathon days in the parks, though, and they’ve gone well.
It has helped that the second trimester went much better than the first. Sarah had far more energy and there was far less unpleasantness, etc., during the second trimester. It sounds like that’s all about par for the course, so I’ll spare you the details or over-explaining of things many/most of you already know!
Sarah is now entering the third trimester, and is starting to experience more hip and back pain. We’ll see how long we’re able to keep up the extended park days. For now, she still feels good and energetic, and has bounced back in a big way after that first trimester. That energy definitely does fizzle out in the evening hours (although we managed to stay for the “Celebrate the Spirit of America” Independence Day tag on the 4th of July) and our bed time has moved forward a bit to accommodate.
We continue to get an above-average amount of exercise. Even prior to the pregnancy, we went on daily multi-mile walks. This is something we’ve done for a long time as a way to disconnect (no phones) and spend time with one another. That practice is pretty much unchanged. We do these in our neighborhood, up the hill, to the beach, at the parks, and in town. Sarah continues to close those rings on a regular basis!
In addition to exercise, as you might’ve known or surmised, Sarah was already an incredibly healthy eater and she’s somehow kicked that up a notch during the pregnancy. Frankly, I don’t know how anyone, anywhere, ever is that diligent about diet. That’s doubly true when dealing with pregnancy cravings and food aversions, which she has somehow managed to “beat.”
I’ve been eating mostly healthy in solidarity, but even I can’t keep up with her. I don’t have that level of willpower. And of course, I am forced eat unhealthy from time-to-time in the parks…for the sake of research. I have no say in the matter.
The bottom line is that Sarah is crushing it on this front; her determination and dedication are truly impressive. Maybe she’ll be a little embarrassed that I’m sharing some of this, but I’m really proud of her and I think this is praiseworthy.
I’m not really sure how thorough of a response was desired when people asked, “how are Sarah and Megatron doing?” Perhaps a simple “they’re doing well” was all you were after and would’ve sufficed. So let’s move on…
On a disappointing (to me) note, my Dwight Schrute stroller testing trials have been a massive failure. I’ll admit that I never fully worked out the logistics of this one. I just watched that episode of The Office several times and thought, “I can’t wait to do that, but in a serious way, and with different types of strollers at Walt Disney World.” Despite never thinking it through, I had built this up in my head for years and was sincerely excited for it.
Starting actual research into strollers resulted in my (sorry to mix pop-culture references) “it’s one banana, Michael. What could it cost, $10?” moment. Except in reverse. I don’t know how much I expected strollers to cost…but definitely not how much they actually cost. My half-baked thinking was that we’d buy a half-dozen different strollers, I’d field test them all, and we’d draw some definitive conclusions.
With reality setting in, we headed to a local BuyBuy Baby that was going out of business. On the downside, the store already looked like the aftermath of Walmart on Black Friday and we bought next to nothing. On the plus side, the ransacked shelves and complete chaos made me comfortable doing some in-store stroller test-driving through aisles and past obstacles.
From that, I quickly learned two things. Strollers are shockingly nice! Mind you, this is coming from someone with practically zero stroller knowledge. The extent of my past stroller usage was literally just pushing around stray strollers at Walt Disney World from time to time to get them out of my empty park photos at night. The strollers at BuyBuy Baby handled far better, have a ton of features, and were just generally nicer.
The other thing I realized is that not only do I have zero stroller knowledge, but I am not currently equipped to evaluate strollers…or any baby products, for that matter. What makes any of these things good or bad? I have no idea. I was really impressed with one particular stroller model for its handling and responsiveness…until Sarah said, “you cannot possibly think you’re going to whip that thing around like that with Megatron in it…right?” Right.
So sorry to disappoint all of you who have been in a holding pattern, putting your pregnancy plans on pause until my definitive stroller research was published. As it turns out, Sarah already knew exactly which stroller we wanted and was just humoring my “research” anyway. But hey, at least I got to do some test drives around the store…it kept me amused for one afternoon!
Switching gears, one reason for the delay in sharing a Megatron update is the ongoing difficulty in figuring out what we’re comfortable sharing. There are a few layers to this, and it’s something we ourselves have struggled with over the years in determining how much to put ourselves out there.
I don’t want to make this a treatise about the ills of social media, but as people who have intimate involvement with and have read countless studies about that, we probably have a more heightened sensitivity than most. Suffice to say, there are reasons why we’re minimally active on social media, and we’re even more apprehensive about overexposing Megatron to and on the internet.
There’s also the practical reality of baby updates taking a lot longer to write and leading to analysis paralysis as we try to figure out what to say…and what not to say. A normal post here is written in pretty free-flowing fashion as ideas come to me and I quickly jot them down before forgetting, and then try to edit that into something nominally coherent.
I certainly overthink all things Disney, but it’s relatively fast and easy. We’ve been doing this stuff long enough that we have a lot of learned experience and accumulated knowledge. That paired with a passion for the subject matter makes for an efficient and painless process. If others think I’m “wrong” about something, I take no personal offense. To the contrary, having people disagree is downright beneficial in broadening my perspective, and not the least bit damaging to my confidence.
This is the opposite of that. Although we’re reading and doing everything we can to learn and properly prepare, we’re still overwhelmed. We know that’s completely normal and there’s no substitute for doing. That you figure a lot out as you go.
Nevertheless, we have seen firsthand how new parents can get torn down and judged on the internet. People have very strong opinions about this stuff, and there’s an obvious knowledge and experience imbalance between seasoned parents and ones to be. It’s daunting and we don’t have the same self-assuredness to brush off critiques, criticism, or even well-intentioned unsolicited advice.
The other side of that is the natural desire to share. Some of the misadventures in becoming parents we’ve had thus far have been interesting and amusing (to us), like the stroller saga. Maybe current parents will think I should be embarrassed by that, but I’m not. Why would I have any prior stroller knowledge? It’s not like it’s common sense.
I can already imagine that the pull to share baby photos and experiences will be even stronger. That there will be a lot of fun stories and moments we want to capture and convey. There’s a tension between that and all of the above, and it’ll be a tough needle to thread. In the past, one of my guiding principles has been to never write anything I wouldn’t be comfortable with my grandma reading.
Going forward, we’re going to be careful not to write anything that teenage Megatron would be uncomfortable to read. (Well, stories about themself. All teenagers are embarrassed by their parents, so dumb dad struggling with strollers is fair game!)
Ultimately, we just wanted to stop and share an update on Sarah and Megatron since some of you have been asking. A simple response might’ve been sufficient, or perhaps you appreciate the detail. I don’t exactly have as much experience writing this type of post as I do a step-by-step Genie+ day run-through, so I’m trying to figure this out as I go.
Once again, thank you all so much for your kind words and well wishes during our pregnancy. We truly are fortunate to have the best and most thoughtful readers. That may seem like a trite platitude, but we really mean it. This is something that we’ve noticed and have been proud of over the years, but we still didn’t expect such a strong an unequivocally positive and joyous response to our baby news. That alone has already made us some degree of more comfortable in sharing our family with you all.
Our next steps involve getting home ready for Megatron, putting together things we’ve purchased, and continuing to get ourselves prepared. Up until now, that has mostly involved voraciously reading everything we can about pregnancy, newborns, and parenting. I have learned a lot…of things Sarah already knew. (Again, I’ll spare you the details of things you already know, but some of this stuff is truly amazing and remarkable. It’s like Planet Earth, but with people!) Our next step in the preparedness process involves taking actual classes that the hospital hosts for childbirth, newborn care, and parenting.
We’ll be back with more updates as pregnancy continues and Megatron (or Baby Bricker, Disney Tourist Baby, etc.) comes into the world. In the meantime, we’ll return to your regularly scheduled programming about Disney IT problems, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the best food you’re not eating, and so forth. Again, thank you all so, so much for your support and opening your arms and hearts to us. It really means a lot to us–more than you can probably imagine!
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Any additional thoughts you have in response to our update on how Sarah and Megatron are doing as they start the third trimester? Disney planning & pregnancy, or Baby Bricker posts you’d be interested in reading? (Again, we don’t know how much we’re going to feel comfortable putting ourselves and our child out there, so we’d greatly appreciate you granting us grace and patience as we find our footing and prepare to be parents!) Hearing your feedback is always appreciated, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!